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Capitalist Development & Democracy


Impact Factor: 0.17 DOI: 10.2307/2074523 Source: OAI


141 1,748


Dietrich Rueschemeyer Evelyne Huber

Brown University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


John D. Stephens
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Available from: John D. Stephens

Retrieved on: 15 October 2015
Capitalist Development and Democracy
. Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Evelyne Huber Stephens,

andJohnD. Stephens

r he publication of Rueschemeyer, Stephens, and

Stephens Capitalist Development and Democracy in
the advanced capitalist countries, of Latin America,
and of Central America and the Caribbean islands.
: 992 was an intellectual milestone, for this book rep That capitalism and democracy go hand in hand
-esents some ofthe finest thinking ever conducted con is a widely held belief. Indeed it is a commonplace
:erning the reasons for the development ofdemocracy of western political discourse. Editorials and politi
'i the Western world. In this excerpt from their book, cal pronouncements insist regularly that capitalist
:;re authors outline their basic argument about the ori development-economic development driven by
5ins of democracy and state the conclusions that they capital interests in competition with each other
-~ched after a detailed survey ofthe recent political his will also bring about political freedom and demo
:Jries of societies in Western Europe, North America, cratic participation in government. In fact, democ
:.atin America, and the Caribbean. racy and capitalism are often seen as virtually iden
As Rueschemeyer, Stephens, and Stephens note, tical.
~mocracy has developed most fully in the highly ad The East-West confrontation gave this proposi
1nced industrial capitalist societies ofthe West, all tion a special quality of proud assertiveness. And
:--which today have strongly entrenched democratic the downfall of the state socialist regimes of eastern
pvernments. Throughout the less-developed world, Europe is celebrated by many as the final proof.
~mocracy is more the exception than the rule, and Ironically, a quite similar proposition was central
:";en where formal democratic institutions prevail, to the views of Lenin, though he gave it a very dif
{muine democratic practice is often very difficult to ferent slant. "Bourgeois democracy" was for him
'::'nd. Rueschemeyer, Stephens, and Stephens argue the constitutional form that perfectly fits the capi
~.~:at democracy has advanced farthest in the capital talist economic order. But in this view capitalism
.it West because its societies have undergone massive and democracy go hand in hand because democ
:dustrialization and capitalist development. These racy, while proclaiming the rule of the many, in fact
':!..:J.tures have brought into existence large and pow protects the interests of capital owners. Whatever
;":ul working classes, and, the authors claim, it is their differences in the conception and valuation of
~rough these groups' direct political action that de democracy, both these views share an important
-.ocracy has been created. Marxists have tended to claim: the unrestrained operation of the market for
;.-gue that democracy arose because it was the politi capital and labor constitutes the material base of
'.:1 form most useful to capitalists in pursuing their democracy. Democracy is the characteristic politi
:;onomic interests, but the authors show instead cal form of capitalism . capitalists have generally been strong opponents The classics of nineteenth-century political the
. democracy because they fear the power it would ory also tended toward the view that the transfor
;';e to the working class. However, the authors show mations wrought by capitalist development would the class that has been most hostile to democracy bring democracy. But their reactions to this pros
'-=.5 not been the capitalists, but rather agrarian land pect were very different from what one might expect
,: ..ds engaged in so-called labor-repressive agricul knowing the thought of their twentieth-century
:.."e. Where this class still retains great economic and heirs. Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill
-:,Utical power, such as in modern Latin America, were apprehensive about full-fledged democracy,
:..:rnocracy (at least genuine democracy) has made and they were not alone in this. Their fear of "false
_-:le headway. democracy" (Mill) and of the "tyranny of the ma
jority" (de Tocqueville) expressed the anticipations
This book examines the relation between capi ofmany Liberals and bourgeois conservatives ofthe
.:Gsm and democracy or, more precisely, between time. By contrast, at the left of the political spec
.:e transformations of society that came with capi trum Marx opted for full democracy and saw in uni
..::.list economic development and the long-term versal suffrage a major step in the transition from
:..::ances of democratic forms of rule. We will review capitalism to socialism. His "dictatorship of the
:.ast research, offer a new theoretical framework proletariat" was not so very different from de Toc
.:at can account for the apparent contradictions of queville's "tyranny of the majority," except that for
:::.:lier findings, and put the framework to the test Marx this was a vision of hope while for de Toc
~~ three sets of broad historical comparisons-of queville it was one of disaster.

244 Political Systems

These reactions give us a first sense that the ques identifying the conditions that make democrac:.
tions surrounding the relationship between capital possible and likely. The rise of authoritarian reo
ism and democracy may be more complex than cur gimes in relatively advanced countries of Sout~,
rent orthodoxies allow. Actually, the twentieth cen America stimulated a new wave of research (see e.g .'
tury has made this even more clear than it was al O'Donnell 1973 and Collier 1979). More recently
ready in the nineteenth. Our century offers many the return of democracy to such countries as Spain
examples of capitalist political economies that Portugal and Greece as well as advances of democ
prospered without democracy; many were in fact ratization in Latin America gave this research an
ruled by harshly authoritarian political regimes. other impetus (see e.g. O'Donnell, Schmitter anc
South Korea and Taiwan after World War II come Whitehead 1986).
to mind as well as, in recent decades, such Latin The results of these decades of research are ir,
American countries as Brazil and Chile. And even many ways impressive. We can with confidence gc
Nazi Germany and the various Fascist regimes in beyond quite a few commonplace views that stL
Europe between the two Word Wars do not exhaust inform much of the public discussion on democrac:.
the list. On the other hand, virtually all full-fledged and its chances. But neither are the results of these
democracies we know are associated with capitalist nearly two generations of research conclusive. Ir,
political economies, and virtually all are creatures particular, the impact of capitalist development or
of the twentieth century. If this is the century of re the chances of democracy is still controversial.
pressive regimes vastly more burdensome than any Two distinctive traditions of research have com:
known in history, it is also the century of democracy. to quite different and as yet unreconciled results
Even a cursory review of history suggests some They employed radically different research strate
generalizations that point to an association be gies and methods, so different that scholars ir
tween capitalist development and democracy but either camp often barely took notice of the work c '
do not settle the question. An agrarian society be the other side. Quantitative cross-national corr>
fore or in the indpient stages ofpenetration by com parisons of many countries have found consistent:
mercial market relations and industrialization is a positive correlation between development and de,
unlikely to gain or sustain a democratic form of gov mocracy. They thus come to relatively optimist::
ernment. Democracy by any definition is extremely conclusions about the chances of democracy, nc'
rare in agrarian societies-both in the agrarian so only in the advanced capitalist nations but also
cieties that constitute the bulk of recorded history the developing countries of today. By contrast, cor:'
and in today's less developed countries that still rely parative historical studies that emphasize qualit""
largely on agriculture for their subsistence. The an tive examination of complex sequences tend::
cient Greek democracies, of which Athens was the trace the rise of democracy to a favorable historic,,-
most famous, were at best rare exceptions in the constellation of conditions in early capitalisr:,
pre-capitalist history of Europe. Whether or not we Their conclusions are therefore far more pessimi:
accept them (as well as a few other cases) as true tic about today's developing countries.
exceptions, the typical forms of rule in agrarian so The contradictory results of the two research tr~
cieties are and have been autocracy and oligarchy. ditions represent a difficult problem precisely b
To this one must add immediately that govern cause they derive from different modes of researc:-.
ment in the agrarian societies of history was almost Given contrasting methodologies, by which criter-,c
invariably inefficient and weak when compared to is one to evaluate the inconsistent findings? O~
the power and capacity of modern states. The most own work takes off from this impasse. It builds c'
tyrannical regimes of history did not have the ca the research of both traditions and seeks to recC'.
pacity to shape and transform society that we take cile their methodological and substantive contr~ ~r

for granted even in today's democracies. It is this dictions....

increase in the capacities of states that accounts for We are convinced that the main finding of t::
the fact that ours is also the century of totalitarian cross-national statistical work-a positive, thou~: le:
and very repressive authoritarian rule. not perfect, correlation between capitalist develc~
The relationship between capitalist development ment and democracy-must stand as an accept::
and democracy has not only been the object of po result. There is no way of explaining this robt:..:
litical argument and broad speculation in political finding, replicated in many studies of different c::
philosophy. For several decades now, it has been sign, as the spurious effect of flawed methods. k
subjected to careful and systematic empirical re theory of democracy must come to terms wit1-.. '
search in sociology, political science, and history. It At the same time, such a correlation, no matter h:
is this research that constitutes the foundation on often replicated, does not carry its own explanatic ::::L :
which our own work builds. It does not identify the causal sequences account:.; ,l.i.. _

Empirical research on democracy has in fact for the persistent relation, not to mention the re ~ ==:
been a major concern of social science in the post sons why many cases are at odds with it. Nor c:
World War II era. After World War II, when Nazi it account for how the same end can be reached :
Germany was defeated, when Stalinist rule had con different historical routes. The repeated statisti:,,-
quered eastern Europe, and when virtually all for finding has a peculiar "black box" character t~,.:..
mer colonies became independent "new states," so can be overcome only by theoretically well grou::-,:
cial scientists devoted very considerable energies to ed empirical analysis.
Capitalist Development and Democracy 245

Comparative historical studies, we argue, carry overwhelming importance. It is complemented by

the best promise of shedding light into the black two other power configurations-the structure,
box. This is not only because comparative historical strength, and autonomy of the state apparatus and
v-lork has been particularly rich in theoretical argu its interrelations with civil society and the impact
:nent. Far more important, historical research gives of transnational power relations on both the balance
:nsight into sequences and their relations to sur of class power and on state-society relations.
:,ounding structural conditions, and that is indis A focus on class and class coalitions may be sur
pensable for developing valid causal accounts. prising to some, while it is perhaps too easily ac
Causal analysis is inherently sequence analysis. cepted by others. We emphasize social class, first,
At the same time, comparative historical re because the concept is in our view a master key to
search is able to go beyond conventional history's understanding the social structuring of interests
?reoccupation with historical particularity and aim and power in society, and second, because the or
:or theoretical generalization. Analytically oriented ganization of class interests is constitutive of major
:omparative history builds on a series of case analy collective actors. The organization of class interests
ses. It seeks to establish satisfactory explanatory ac is, however, a complex process in which not only
:ounts that do justice to each case and at the same the forms of collective action but the very interests
:ime are theoretically coherent and consistent with actually pursued are socially and historically con
::ach other. In the process it develops a body of theo structed. Thus, the subjective understanding and
~ems of proven explanatory power.... political posture of class actors cannot be read off
Our theoretical framework incorporates the ma the underlying class structure in any one-to-one
"0r findings of the crossnational quantitative stud fashion.
:es. However, we depart from the theoretical under None the less, the political postures of given
?innings of much of the cross-national statistical classes are not infinitely variable either. Based on
,'ork, which often adopted the then current models our theoretical understanding and past historical
)f modernization theory. In this structural-func and sociological research, we expected classes to
::onal conception of social order, society, polity, and exhibit definite central political tendencies in the
~conomy are seen as more or less well-functioning struggle for political democracy. One central axis
systems integrated primarily by shared values and was defined by what benefits and losses classes
:~ltural premises. Democracy arises due to its func could expect from extensions of political inclusion;
::onal fit with the advanced industrial economy. To the other was the class's ability to organize itself
:~e extent that the development of democracy is at and engage in collective action in defense of class
::ibuted to an agent, as in Lipset's (1959) classic ar interests. This led us to the hypothesis, following
:de, it is the middle class that is seen as the primary Barrington Moore, that large landlords engaged in
;romoter of democracy. The upper-class, and espe "labor repressive" agriculture would be the most
:ially the lower class, are seen as the enemies of implacable opponents of democracy. However, in
:emocracy. contrast to Moore, as well as to Leninists and liberal
By contrast, we employ, like most of the com social scientists, we also expected the bourgeoisie
:arative historical work from Max Weber to to oppose suffrage extension to the working classes
"~uillermo O'Donnell, a "political economy" per as such a move posed a potential treat to their in
;'Jective that focuses on actors-individual as well terests. We expected the urban working class to be
~ collective actors-whose power is grounded in the most frequent proponent of the full extension
_::mtrol of economic and organizational resources of democratic rights because this promised to in
~: : .:.,ndlor of coercive force and who vie with each other clude the class in the polity where it could further
.::r scarce resources in the pursuit of conflicting pursue its interests and because the working class,
~)als. While such a perspective does recognize the unlike other lower classes, had the capacity to or
,-')le of ideas, values and non-material interests,es ganize itself. It is the capacity to organize and ex
:-:cially when they are grounded in institutions and press its interests that differentiated the working
:jUective organization, it differs sharply from the class from the small peasantry. We hypothesized
.:nctionalist and culture-centered premises of that the middle classes would favor their own in
~- - =.odernization theory. clusion, but would be ambivalent about further ex
How, then, do we conceive of democracy and its tensions of political rights, perhaps swinging to one
::nditions? Our most basic premise is that democ side or another on the basis of possible alliances.
=.cyis above all a matter of power. Democratization Thus, in a given historical case, one would have to
- " . -~?resents first and foremost an increase in politi
:,;j equality. This idea is the ground upon which all
examine the structure of class coalitions as well as
the relative power of different classes to understand
": our work stands. The central proposition of our how the balance ofclass power would affect the pos
"__eoretical argument virtually follows from this: it siblities for democracy.
i power relations that most importantly determine Class power is in our view intimately related to
~ether democracy can emerge, stabilize, and then the development of, the increasing organizational
:-, =.aintain itself even in the face of adverse condi density of, civil society. This proposition seems at
- :,ns. first glance similar to-but in reality is quite dis
There is first the balance of power among differ tinct from-claims of modernization theorists and
classes and class coalitions. This is a factor of pluralists that the growth of intermediate groups
246 Political Systems

and associations tends to be supportive of democ persistencies into account and respond sensitively
racy. Civil society, in our conception, is the totality to alternative paths of causation.
of social institutions and associations, both formal Our own comparative investigations not only
and informal, that are not strictly production-re cover a very large number of cases in historical
lated nor governmental or familial in character. depth but also focus on the areas of the world most
Capitalist development furthers the growth of civil important for the history of democratization. We
society-by increasing the level of urbanization, by first turn to the advanced capitalist countries focus
bringing workers together in factories, by improv ing on how democracy was first fully established as
ing the means of communication and transporta well as how democratic rule subsequently fared ir.
tion, by raising the level of literacy. Strengthening the critical period between the two World Wars. We ::e
the organization and organizational capacity of the secondly study the complex processes of democra
working and middle classes serves to empower tization-often only partial democratization-anc
those classes and thus to change the balance of class of reversals of democratic rule in the countries 0:
power. A dense civil society also has an importance Latin America. Thirdly, we compare the countrie!
for democracy on its own, because it establishes a of Central America with the island societies of the
counterweight to state power. Caribbean. The whole set of cases examined repre
In modern societies the state-the set of organi sents the areas with the most extensive democrati:
zations involved in making and implementing bind experience. At the same time, there are many ex
ing collective decisions, if necessary by force-is in amples of stable non-democratic regimes as well as
variably one major component of the overall land of breakdowns of democratic political systems tha: .::e:
scape of power in society. There is no contemporary can be analyzed comparatively side by side with ir.
society in which the structure of domination can stances of democratization and stable democratk
simply be understood by looking at the distribution rule, giving ample opportunity to use the analytic"-.
of economic and social power in civil society. And comparative historical method to the fullest exter.:
the state is in varying degrees set off from and in What is the upshot of our analyses? First, it ::
dependent of other power centers. Since the state not an overall structural correspondence betwee:
is not only an apparatus of implementation and en capitalism and democracy that explains the rise ar.:
forcement but also the arena in which binding col persistence of democracy. Some have conceived c'
lective decisions are arrived at, it is of obvious im such a correspondence as a simple mutual rei:-.
portance to an understanding of the conditions of forcement between a free market for goods ar.:
democracy. The shape of state structures and their services and a market for political outcomes. Othe:: _'M

relations to other power concentrations are there (as for instance Cutright 1963) have seen demo:
fore a second cluster of conditions shaping the racy more diffusely as a highly "differentiated" p:
chances of democracy. litical form that fits the more differentiated SOciL
A third cluster of conditions is constituted by structures produced by capitalist development. 0...: --'
transnational power relations. Obviously, power re analyses do not lend support to such overall corr~
lations do not stop at the borders of politically or spondence propositions. Neither do they confic
ganized societies. States stand in close interaction the view of the bourgeoisie as the main agent of d:,
with power centers beyond their borders. In fact mocracy that has been central to both classic liber<..
they often derive much of their autonomy vis-a.-vis and marxist-leninist theory. Rather-we co:
their own societies from this involvement in exter clude-capitalist development is associated wi::
nal relations. In addition, economic relations and democracy because it transforms the class stn::
economic organizations have increasingly tran ture, strengthening the working and middle class:,;
scended national borders. These, too, are likely to and weakening the landed upper class. It was r...
be modified by state action. Yet, however modified, the capitalist market nor capitalists as the ne
the impact of powerful interests-political as well dominant force, but rather the contradictions :.
as economic-beyond a country's borders also en capitalism that advanced the cause of democrac:,
ters the balance of power that determines the A brief summary of our main findings shot.:.,:
chances of democracy. In varying degree, they in help to prepare and guide the reader through t:-:
fluence the balance of class power and they affect theoretical arguments and the historical evider,::
states and state-society relations. presented in the following chapters. We found tr..:.
One critical aspect of all three clusters of power, social classes behaved in a quite systematic manr.::
as well as of their interrelations, is the fact that so across our historical cases and in accordance v;:' .
cial patterns, once forged, often persist beyond our expectations. The working class was the me
their original conditions. This negates the possibil consistently pro-democratic force. The class hac;
ity of a "presentist" explanation of democracy, one strong interest in effecting its political inclus::: g;:: :

that involves only factors observably active in the and it was more insulated from the hegemony :

present moment of history, and it voids any me dominant classes than the rural lower classes. E

chanical account of the impact of class, state, and ceptions to the pro-democratic posture of the WO:-i

transnational power on constitutional form. Here ing class occurred where the class was initially IT,:'

is another powerful rationale for engaging in com bilized by a charismatic but authoritarian leader .

parative historical analysis, which can take such a hegemonic party linked to the state apparatus

Capitalist Development and Democracy 247

The landed upper-classes which were dependent The state was stronger relative to civil society in
on a large supply of cheap labor were the most con Latin America and the Caribbean than in the core
:...... sistently anti-democratic force. Democratization countries. This was partly related to the compara
=or them posed the possibility of losing this labor tive weakness and heterogeneity of the dominant
;:.lpply. The bourgeoisie we found to be generally classes and partly to the history of state formation
,:.lpportive of the installation of constitutional and and to external support for the military in the post
~epresentative government, but opposed to extend World War II period. The effects of this lopsided bal
.::'.g political inclusion to the lower classes. For the ance of power were greater state autonomy and in
.:..::ded classes as well as the bourgeoisie threat per tervention into politics, or outright imposition of
::eption was important both at the time of the initial authoritarian rule by the coercive apparatus of the
._".stallation of democratic rule and for its later con state .
The impact of transnational structures of power
-- ;:;lidation. If these classes felt acutely threatened
- their vital interests by popular pressures, they in on democratization also varied across our regions,
mably opposed democracy and, once democratic being stronger in Latin America and the Caribbean
-.:.le was installed. attempted to undermine it. than in the core countries. Economic dependence
The middle classes played an ambiguous role in had negative effects. though mostly in indirect
_:e installation and consolidation of democracy. ways. It shaped the class structure in ways inimical
::-iey pushed for their own inclusion but their atti for democratization. Economic growth led by towards inclusion of the lower classes de agrarian exports reinforced the position of large
::-ended on the need and possibilities for an alliance landholders. Industrialization with imported capi
.i th the working class. The middle classes were tal intensive technology kept the working class
=ost in favor of full democracy where they were small and weak. Geo-political dependence relations
:::mfronted with intransigent dominant classes and were even more important. Geo-political interests
.-11., ._...,_ . ~" ::.d the option of allying with a sizeable working of core countries generated direct interventions and
::ass. However. if they started feeling threatened by support for the repressive apparatus of the state and
thus created an unfavorable balance of power be

:opular pressures under a democratic regime, they
s...e .=...:,.: :-Jrned to support the imposition of an authoritar tween state and civil society for democratization.
"';;~: : .an alternative . The effects of British colonialism, though. deviated
The peasantry and rural workers also played var from this negative pattern in so far as the colonial
:ed roles, depending on their capacity for auto no presence prevented the dominant classes from us
::lOUS organization and their susceptibility to the
ing the state apparatus to repress the emerging or
:nfluence of the dominant classes. Independent ganizations of subordinate classes. Instead, it al
e::.::' lowed for the gradual emergence of a stronger civil
, T
;~:- :amily farmers in small-holding countries were a society, capable of sustaining democracy after in
:Jro-democratic force, whereas their posture in dependence.
~- -" :ountries or areas dominated by large landholdings Political parties emerged in a crucial role as me
{as more authoritarian. Peasants living on large es diators in both the installation and consolidation
:ates remained by and large unmobilized and thus of democracy. Strong parties were necessary to mo
:id not playa role in democratization. Rural wage bilize pressures from subordinate classes for de~
"orkers on plantations did attempt to organize, and mocratization, but if their programs were too radi
e; - ",'here they were not repressed, they joined other cal, they stiffened resistance among the dominant
. ;orking-class organizations in pushing for political classes against democracy. Once democracy was in
_lclusion. stalled, the party system became crucial for protect
As anticipated, we did observe systematic vari ing the interests of the dominant classes and thus
l:ion across regions in the class structure and there keeping them from pursuing authoritarian alterna
:Jre in class alliances and the dynamics of democ tives. Democracy could be consolidated only where
L-::3 :. :-atization. Most importantly, the working-class was there were two or more strong competing political
:~aller and weaker and the landed class stronger parties at least one of which effectively protected
_1 Latin America and the Caribbean, which made dominant class interests, or where the party system
't-- .....,.
.0..:'- ~
'Jr a balance of class power less favorable for de allowed for direct access of the dominant classes to
=ocratization than in the core countries. Due to the the state apparatus.
-dative weakness of the working class, the middle The main focus of our analysis allowed us to re
.:asses played here the leading role in pushing for interpret the central, and robust, finding of the
..:.e '-- ~: :emocratization, with the result that democracy cross-national statistical studies that economic de
:e - :::ten remained restricted. velopment is associated with democracy. In the
We also found systematic variation across re course of our comparative work, we were also able
;::ms and time periods in the role of the state. Con to provide reinterpretations of other findings of
,,:lidation of state power was an essential prerequi these studies: the positive association of democracy
": te for democratization. This process was more dif with a legacy of British colonialism and Protestant
:ult in Latin America than in the other regions we ism and the negative association of democracy with
~vestigated, and this contributed to the long delay ethnic diversity. In each case, the comparative his
:: even an institutionalization of contestation in torical analysis showed that the modernization in
::any cases. terpretation was inadequate and that the relations
248 Political Systems

of class, state, and international power were essen racy because it tends to be more than merely for
tial in understanding why these societal character mal. It tends to be real to some extent. Giving the
istics aided or impeded the development of democ many a real voice in the formal collective decision
racy. making of a country is the most promising basis for
further progress in the distribution of power and
One last issue has to be taken up in this brief in other forms of substantive equality. The same fac
troduction to the problems we intend to pursue. The tors which support the installation and consolida
concept of democracy has been given very different tion of formal democracy, namely growth in the
meanings. Clarifying one's conception of "democ strength of civil society in general and of the lower
racy" is not just a question of finding an adequate classes in particular, also support progress towards
and precise operational definition. Rather it in greater equality in political participation and to
volves more complex issues of meaning. The marx wards greater social and economic equality. Ulti
ist critique of "bourgeois democracy" raises per mately, we see in democracy-even in its modes:
haps the most central issue: is the claim of democ and largely formal contemporary realizations-the -::..;
racy to constitute the rule of the many real, or is beginning of the self-transformation of capita;'
this claim a sham that makes the de facto rule of ism....
the few more effective and secure behind a screen
of formally democratic institutions? To anticipate
our position and put it with apodictic brevity: no Collier, David 1979: The Bureaucratic-Authoritaria~.
actually existing democracy can claim to constitute model: synthesis and priorities for future researcl:
In Collier, D. (ed.), The New Authoritarianism i'
in a realistic sense the rule of the many; but "bour Latin America. Princeton: Princeton Universit"
geois" or formal democracy does make a difference Press. .
for the process of political decision-making and for Cutright, Philips 1963: National political developmen:
the outcomes of that process. measurement and analysis. American Sociologic~
Review, 28 (April).
This position has methodological consequences. Dahl, Robert A. 1956: A Preface to Democratic Theory. Cr.:
The concepts of democracy used in our research cago: University of Chicago Press.
as well as in virtually all other empirical studies -1971: Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition. New H~
aim to identify the really existing democracies of ven: Vale University Press.
our world and to distinguish them from other forms Lipset, Seymour Martin 1959/1980: Some social requis. ... -.,.:
of rule. Our operating concepts are therefore not tes of democracy: economic development and pc
liticallegitimacy. American Political Science Revie...
based on the most farreaching ideals of democratic 53; reprinted in Lipset, S. M., Political Man, ex;
thought-of a government thoroughly and equally edn. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
responsive to the preferences of all its citizens (Dahl Macpherson, C. B. 1973: Democratic Theory: Essays in Ri
1971) or of a polity in which human beings fulfill trieval. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
themselves through equal and active participation O'Donnell, Guillermo A. 1973: Modernization and Burec<~. ... .
in collective self-rule (Macpherson 1973). Rather, cratic Authoritarianism. Berkeley: Institute of Intc
national Studies.
they orient themselves to the more modest forms O'Donnell, Guillermo, Schmitter, Philippe C. and Whi~~
of popular participation in government through head, Laurence (eds), 1986: Transitions fro'
representative parliaments that appear as realistic Authoritarian Rule: Prospects for Democracy. Bal:
possibilities in the complex societies of today. Our more: Johns Hopkins University Press, 4 vols.
definitions of democracy focus on the state's re :".--:.:
sponsibility to parliament (possibly complemented From Rueschemeyer, Stephens, and Stepher.,
by direct election of the head of the executive), on Capitalist Development and Democracy, pp. 1-1
regular free and fair elections, on the freedom of Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Pres:
expression and association, and on the extent of the Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
suffrage. Robert Dahl, whose careful conceptuali
zations probably had the greatest influence on em
pirical democracy research, reserved the term Questions for Discussion
"polyarchy" for this more modest and inevitably
somewhat formal version of democracy (Dahl 1956,
1. Where did democracy develop earliest and me:
extensively? Where is it least developed toda: .
' "

Why do we care about formal democracy if it con 2. How have Marxists tended to explain the deve

siderably falls short of the actual rule of the many? opment of democracy?

This question assumes particular saliency in the 3. According to Rueschemeyer, Stephens, a:.:

light of two of our findings, namely that democracy Stephens, what conditions have historica:

was a result of the contradictions of capitalist de been most favorable for democracy? What c::

velopment and that it could be consolidated only if ditions have been least favorable?

the interests of the capitalist classes were not di 4. If you were a policymaker and were given :.

rectly threatened by it. The full answer to this ques task of trying to bring about genuine democr::

tion will become clear as we proceed with our analy in those parts of the world least character:: :..

sis. But it is possible to anticipate our conclusion by it, what recommendations would you m2... :

briefly already We care about formal democ and why?